Interview With NZedamine: The Man Behind The Australasian Player League

Last week we posted about how the Australasian Player League had announced some significant changes to the structure. This week we had a chat via email with NZedamine about what exactly the APL is, where it came from, and where it’s headed.

If you are interested in participating in the Australasian Player League, which is scheduled to start in mid January, then this interview is a great read.

Neri: Hi NZedamine, thanks for agreeing to chat with us. Firstly, can you tell us about your vision for the Australasian Player League?

NZedamine: Thank you for having me! My vision for the APL is to help grow the community here in ANZ. I see a lot of potential, but we have fewer opportunities than other regions to let our player base grow as a community. I am hoping that the APL will be our answer to that.

Neri: How are you intending on achieving this?

NZedamine: I want to do more than just competitive matches (but don’t worry, we will have those as well). We are looking for volunteers to help with Workshops on different aspects of competitive play to teach players the ins and outs of how to play in a team, enviroment. We also want to have a community board for ANZ players to look for teams and friends. Creating a central place for everyone to meet.

Neri: How will players benefit from participating in the APL?

NZedamine: The main benefit will be having a consistent pool of players around to play good games in Heroes. We want to also help teach and lift the capabilities of our players so that if and when they want to take the next step in forming a team and going to tournaments, they have the skills and the confidence to go out and kick ass. Also, it will be fun, and that is always a benefit.

Neri: There have been a few members of the community who have had questions over the format. Are you able to give us a quick run down of how it will work?

NZedamine: Sure! In the APL you will have your own “League Score” (aka MMR) that will rank you. Everyone starts off with the same League Score. A player will be able to challenge another player to a match. Once the challenge is made, the two players will draft OTHER players present.

Once the players are drafted, we then draft our Heroes and play a custom game.

Once the match is finished, Points will be rewarded or deducted for Wins, losses, and for Individual performance. (i.e. If you get the most Hero Damage in the match, you receive bonus points, regardless of whether your team wins or loses)

Once the Season is completed, the top players will go into the final tournament, where they will draft from the league players and play as a team for the duration of the event.

Neri: Are players responsible for forming their own teams, or will the system do it for them?

NZedamine: Players will form their own teams for each match from the player pool present on the night. For tournaments, players will form teams for the duration of the tournament.

Neri: With the removal of the entry level MMR, how will you address any possible skill gaps between participants?

NZedamine: This has been an interesting problem as we are a small region. We will have to come to terms that we will have a wide range of skill level in the league. To help keep games competitive, a Player can only challenge someone who is within a certain range of their League Score. This means someone with a 900 LS will not be able to challenge a 2500LS player. The LS will be publicly posted after each APL night, and it will be up to the players drafting to choose who they feel will fit best for their play style.

And having workshops and Bootcamps on advanced play will hopefully help level the skill level.

Neri: A few months ago there was an invite-only league that was running under the same name. Can you clarify for us whether or not these two leagues are the same, and how you will prevent the issues that plagued the first version from occurring in yours?

NZedamine: Yes! Firstly, consider APL, TNG (The Next Generation) separate, but inspired from the original. The original APL didn’t work out because there wasn’t a lot of structure, and it fell into infighting fairly quickly and there wasn’t a neutral party to settle issues.

While I was involved in the first APL at the tail end of its life, I took the experience as a way to build a better league for the entire community. That is why APL TNG is open for everyone. This is also why we decided to drop the MMR requirement. Our goal here is to build a community for everyone, not just the top 100 players. To avoid the previous issues, we have set up a Code of Conduct as well as very visible rules and regulations that all players will need to follow. There will be a way for reporting bad behaviour and a review system to make sure toxicity remains a rare thing in the league. We want to bring out the best in our region in all areas: talent, sportsmanship, and creativity.

Neri: You mention in your promotional material that you’re looking to also create some great content that showcases the ANZ region. Can you share any more details with us about how this will work?

NZedamine: Sure! As the league starts, I am hoping to create a clip show on content of best plays by people each week, so that we can begin the showcase the talent in the region. The plays need to be nominated by those in the league, and we will take the best, and show them off. I would also like to do some analysis of key plays in premier matches, breaking down Teamfights to help showcase great plays here in the region.

Neri: Are there any prizes up for grabs at this stage?

NZedamine: I am definitely looking at a cash prize for the winner. While, bragging rights are great, I think a little money or some awesome Blizzard stuff will be awesome. I am working on the particulars for that, so keep an eye out!

Neri: If anyone in the region is interested in coming on board as a volunteer, what are you looking for and how can they go about getting in touch with you?

NZedamine: Absolutely! If people are interested in Casting, Announcing, Overseeing games, or helping out with the league, please feel free to email me at NZedamine@gmail.com or message me in BattleNet (NZedamine#6805)

To find out more information on the Australasian Player League, check out their website or get in touch with them via Twitter

Bonus: NZedamine was a guest on Heroes Untapped last night, where he talked a bit more about the APL. You can catch his segment at the 44:30 mark of the episode:

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